Hectares

Pheasantry Welcome Centre at Bushy Park
The Tea Terrace Kiosk
Parklife Café and Community Room at St James’ Park
Image 1: Pheasantry Welcome Centre - Bushy Park © The Royal Parks;
Image 2: Tea Terrace Kiosk © Friends of Battersea Park;
Image 3: Parklife Café at St James’ Park © park-life.org.uk;
Concessions
Concessions

Overview

A concession is an agreement which allows an external organisation to promote and sell goods and services on your site. Almost anything can be a concession, such as:

  • Vending machines
  • Cafes/restaurants
  • Gift shops
  • Ice cream vans
  • Mobile caterers (e.g. burger vans)
  • Cycle hire
  • Boat hire
  • Land train
  • Deckchair hire
  • Sports equipment hire
  • Corporate facilities (conference, banqueting and meeting rooms)
  • Education centres
  • Permanent/seasonal fair grounds
  • Mini golf
  • Tennis courts
  • Bowling greens
  • Pony rides


Ideas for concessions can come from the site itself or from proposals by external organisations.  Concessions should enhance visitors’ experience of the site and not detract from it.

Concessions frequently boost the appeal of a site and encourage new and repeat visitors.  A variety of concessions can also increase the dwell time of visitors as they participate in multiple activities.  

There are many ways a concession can generate income.  The concession holder can be charged a fixed ground rent for using space on your site; they can pay you a proportion of total sales or a combination of the two.  

To achieve value for money it is often beneficial to invite organisations to run a concession on your site through an open tender process.  This is a useful way of identifying the organisations who want to deliver the concession along with the quality and price they are proposing.  This helps to ensure you are getting the best deal for your concession.

It can be beneficial to produce guidelines on the dos and don’ts for concessions on your site.  This will give clarity to potential concession holders of the type of activity that is acceptable on site.

It is worth considering the length of leases to run the concession.  Short term leases (i.e. 1 year) allow you to change lease holders if the concession is not being run as you would like.  However short-term leases often limit investment.  If an organisation is given a long-term lease (i.e. 5-10 years) then they are more likely to invest in capital elements of the concession because they will see a return on their upfront investment.  For example an organisation is more likely to replace the dinghies on a boating lake if they have a secure lease for ten years rather than a 1 year lease.

Questions to Consider

The Land is suitable for
What opportunities for concessions do you have on your site?

The Land is suitable for
What sort of concessions do you want on site? What do you think will be popular with visitors?

The Land is suitable for
What minimum rental income is acceptable?

The Land is suitable for
How long do you want to lease the concession for?

The Land is suitable for
What is your annual footfall?

The Land is suitable for
What is the user profile of your site? (e.g. families, sports enthusiasts etc)

The Land is suitable for
Would the concessions be seasonal or all year round?

The Land is suitable for
How would the activity impact on the quality of the site?

The Land is suitable for
Can a concession attract a new type of visitor? (e.g. corporate facilities)

Pros and Cons

The Land is suitable for
Attract new and repeat visitors.

The Land is suitable for
Increase the dwell time of visitors.

The Land is suitable for
Risk free income – if the concession fails the park has not lost any money.

The Land is suitable for
Increases diversity of park offer.

The Land is suitable for
Don’t need internal resources to deliver activity.

The Land is suitable for
Concession holder will invest in the activity to benefit the site (e.g. cycle hire providing new bikes).

The Land is suitable for
Seasonal nature of concessions.
The Land is suitable for
May only get a small income compared to the size of the profits being made.
The Land is suitable for
A concession may take over the site, marginalising other activities and spaces.

Case Studies

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Arnos Vale Cemetery

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Battersea Park

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Bournemouth Borough Council

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Bute Park

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Festival Gardens

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Howard Park and Gardens

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Morden Hall Park

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Northumberlandia

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Nottingham City Council

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The Royal Parks

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There are eight Royal Parks, which cover 2,000 hectares within London.  They are: